For students looking to make money and establish themselves in a rewarding and stable career, the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math, collectively called the STEM fields, offer the best job prospects. Demand for employees in the STEM fields continues to grow, and most industry guides find that STEM fields are highly competitive in terms of starting salaries and benefits. The good news for students who are looking to join the STEM fields is that STEM is very broad and offers a large number of potential paths to success. There are so many options within STEM that there is bound to be a field and a career that will be right for you.
“STEM majors have changed dramatically in the last two decades – both the variety of what’s available, the way that we teach and the way students learn the use of technology,” said Prof. Bob Kolvoord of the College of Integrated Science and Engineering at James Madison University in Virginia.
In this article, we’ll take a look at a few of the STEM majors that are currently very popular so you can consider which STEM fields might be the right path for your degree and your career.
Who Should Pursue STEM?
Students who have strong analytical and problem-solving skills are best suited to STEM, especially those who have a facility with math. If you feel that STEM might be right for you, there are a number of things you can be doing in high school to prepare for a college STEM major. First, you need to be sure to do your best in your high school courses and maintain a high GPA. Participate in related activities and work to build leadership and communication skills that can serve you well in a future STEM career.
When you get to college, it’s important to keep your options open at first. Take courses not just in the one STEM subfield you are most interested in but also some other areas of STEM. The cross-discipline knowledge will be helpful, and the exposure to other STEM options might open you up to different fields you hadn’t realized might be perfect for you. For example, majors in unusual subfields like metallurgy and materials engineering may be unfamiliar to most students but could turn out to be a perfect fit.
The List of the Most Popular Majors in STEM
Some of the most popular STEM majors this year are the same STEM majors that have been popular for many years. There is major growth in the following general fields, each of which has subfields where students can specialize at either the undergraduate or graduate levels.
- Astronomy – the study of the stars and outer space.
- Biology – the study of living organisms
- Chemistry – the study of the interaction of elements and compounds
- Computer science – the study of computer systems and their application
- Engineering – the application of science to building things
- Earth sciences – the study of the physical environment and its processes
- Health sciences – the study of human health and wellbeing
- Information technology – the study of using systems to store and send information
- Mathematics – the study of numbers, quantities, and space
- Physics – the study of matter, motion, and behavior through space and time
Within these general STEM fields, a number of subdisciplines gain or lose popularity according to changes in the economy and culture. For example, biology is a broad discipline encompassing everything from marine biology to entomology. Currently, the subfields of biology dealing with environmental science and climate change’s effects on plants and animals have seen massive growth due to the changing conditions of earth’s climate.
But if you find that you have interests that stretch beyond just one STEM field, you can rest assured that you won’t be limited by your degree. In fact, many students are surprised to learn that STEM fields often work together, especially in the corporate world, where you will likely work with people from many STEM disciplines in order to achieve optimized results. STEM is more “TEAM”—meaning that everyone is working together toward solving the same questions.
Connection to the Humanities
While STEM fields are a major growth field, it’s important to remember that the humanities have a role to play even in STEM. When science and technology stretch our capacity for progress, we sometimes need to take a step back and consider how new discoveries and achievements can impact real human beings. This is a question best suited for the humanities, especially fields like philosophy and ethics. As Jeff Goldblum’s character says in the first Jurassic Park movie, “Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.”
Getting a Leg Up
When you need a bit of help making the grade in your STEM courses or in elective studies, it will be helpful to pay someone from an online service to do homework assignments for you. When you get assistance from an expert at a service like MyAssignmentLab, you will be more likely to succeed in your STEM assignments and complete your STEM degree. Students who have a leg up on the competition are more likely to achieve their STEM goals and secure the rewards they hope for.
No matter what STEM subfield you hope to enter, there is never a bad time to maximize your potential with the kind of expert homework assistance that will empower you to succeed in your STEM discipline.